‘Tobacco is harmful for public health. For this reason, the government is sincere in tobacco control. Awareness is important to reduce tobacco use. However, there is a need for multi-purpose measures to control tobacco. Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) is a government-owned statutory body. There are 154 products under BSTI list, of which products quality are examine and give approval. Since tobacco is not our compulsory product, we do not examine the quality of these products. As tobacco is harmful product and a widely used in Bangladesh, so we can made tobacco products as compulsory. Besides, after analysis steps will also be taken to put the production and expiry date on tobacco products.’
On 18 June 2017, Director General of BSTI Md. Saiful Hasib expressed this while meeting with a delegation team of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) at his office.
The delegation led by Aminul Islam Bokul, Executive Director of AID Foundation. In this team, Aminul Islam Sujon, Executive Editor of BATA newsletter ‘Samaswar’; Syeda Anonna Rahman, Program Manager and Syed Saiful Alam, Media Advocacy Officer of Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust; Md. Robiul Alam, Administrative Officer of AID Foundation; Farhana Zaman Liza and Md. Mohiuddin, Research Assistant of Tobacco Control Research Cell; Md. Yousuf Ali; Deputy-executive Director of Prodesh were included.
BSTI Director (Standard) ANM Asaduzzaman; Director (CM) SM Ishaq Ali; Assistant director (CM) SM Abu Syeed was present at that time.
Speakers said, ‘Tobacco is a widely used harmful product. 43.3% adult population of the country use tobacco. BSTI will have to come forward to discourage such a large number of people from tobacco. In particular, puttingproduction and expiry date on tobacco products is required by including tobacco as a mandatory product of BSTI. Through this, it will be easy to implement the graphic health warnings of existing tobacco control law in the country.